Queensland Proposes Tougher Dog Laws, Including Jail Time For Irresponsible Owners

Queenslanders whose dogs cause serious harm or death could face up to three year’s jail time under the proposed law changes.

In a bid to address rising concerns over severe dog attacks, Queensland’s Agriculture Minister, Mark Furner, is set to introduce stringent amendments to the state’s dog laws. 

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The overhaul also includes a statewide ban on specific dog breeds, such as the American pit bull terrier.

Queensland’s dog laws have been under review since 2021 by a special task force. The review was prompted by a surge in reported incidents, including three attacks on children within a week and a fatal attack on a metre reader in 2022.

Mr Furner said the proposed legislation aims to hold irresponsible owners accountable for their dogs’ actions. 

The ban on certain breeds has drawn criticism from animal welfare groups, including the RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association, who argue that a breed alone is not an effective predictor of dog aggression.

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“Myself as a dog owner, I love dogs, and it’s always a situation where people need to be responsible for their ownership and make sure they not only protect the other dogs or animals in their environments, but also the people that may enter their premises or when out in public too,” he said.

Under the current laws, pet owners whose dogs cause death due to an attack face no imprisonment option. 

The proposed legislation seeks to align Queensland with other states, introducing maximum penalties, including jail time for severe dog attacks. 

Penalties will also be increased, focusing on irresponsible owners whose dogs cause harm.

The government has allocated a $7.57 million funding package to bolster coordinated responses to dog attacks and support dog management initiatives in First Nations communities.

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